Download the latest documentaries investigating global developments, issues and affairs.
The travelling speech therapist
When speech disorders affect children, it is speech therapists who assist in helping them find their voice, but therapists are rare and it is thought they are largely absent across 75% of the world. Sean Allsop grew up needing speech therapy in the UK. He travels to Turks & Caicos, a place that has no therapists to help its population. He takes the trip with a travelling speech therapist, Mary Weinder who has been asked by the Turks & Caicos Government for help.
Living with power cuts
Around the world, millions of people live with daily electricity blackouts. In recent days in South Africa, protesters – angry that the electricity keeps going off – marched through Johannesburg and Cape Town. Three women in South Africa share their experiences of their daily struggles to get everything done before the power goes off. Two business owners, in Sri Lanka and Nigeria, come together to discuss the financial impact of power cuts.
Uruguay’s Cash Cow
Cattle are part of Uruguay’s DNA. There are around 4 cows to every one of their tiny 3.5 million population of people and beef is their main export. But how do they compete against their mighty, better known neighbours; Argentina and Brazil? In this week’s Assignment Jane Chambers travels to the country’s lush, green pastures to find out about how they keep their cash cow flourishing. She hears from cattle farmers and other people in the beef industry about how they’re carving out a niche for themselves and future proofing against the threats of climate change. Produced and presented by: Jane Chambers Country Producer: Lucinda Elliot Studio Mix: Rod Farquhar Production coordinator: Iona Hammond and Gemma Ashman Series Editor: Penny Murphy
The Night Witches of World War Two
Orna Merchant learns how, during World War Two, a desperate Soviet Union created three all-female aerial combat units. The most celebrated of these was the 588th Night Bomber Regiment. Using Polikarpov Po-2 wooden biplanes, as the aviators approached their target they would cut their engines and glide in to drop their bombs. The eerie sight and sound of this – added to the discovery of them having all women crews - led German forces to nickname them ‘Nachthexen’ - the Night Witches.
A short history of sadness
How do humans cope with sadness? Is it something to be avoided at all costs or part of the human condition? Should we dwell on our sadness, or flee from it? Author Helen Russell explores humanity's history of gloom, and the cultural differences in our approach to tackling it. Helen goes to Lisbon to explore their relationship with melancholy, communicated through a uniquely mournful genre of music called Fado, and an untranslatable word "saudade". She learns about the service which sends a handsome man to wipe away tears in Japan, and hears about joy, sadness and mourning with a Ghanian poet.
Babies and families
Several countries are experiencing a fall in the number of babies being born and this has potentially serious consequences. Japan’s Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, has warned that his country is on the brink of not being able to function as a society. The problem is an increasingly elderly population and not enough younger people to keep the country ticking over. China is seeing record low birth rates and South Korea has the lowest rate of women having babies in the world. Youtubers Sarah and Kyuho in the South Korean capital Seoul, describe some of the pressures and reactions they experienced when they said they are not planning to have kids.
The podcasts are almost every time informative and well researched, but on some politically delicate matters you can definitely spot biased views, for example in the podcast silent wounds.
'Fighting fat-phobia' - more like 'fighting a healthy lifestyle'
Just call it what it is, please: Campaigning for obesity and the health complications arising from it to be normalized.
A real shame to see something like that being promoted here.
I know it's a journalistic habit deeply trained, to begin & to string a topos along with personal histories, subjective experiences, on-site-"it's really happening!"s, to add flesh to a story, to make personal contact with aufience experience. Alas, all this favouring anecdotes results in driving the audience apart in reducing facts & issues about the world to experiences, which are met by other, divergent, opposite experiences, & what remains is "so sorry this happened to you, but it didn't to me, so let me go on with my reality" subjectivisms. History is not stories.